Friday, February 09, 2018

Fri-Yay: High Concept Sitcoms; Bravo's Imposters Returns in April

It's time for another edition of Fri-Yay! That means we will take a look back on some sitcom happenings in recent days or weeks or other fun sitcomy stuff. It's a sitcom lover's paradise! Happy Fri-Yay!

Life in Pieces

by Vincent

Sitcoms tend to go in phases, and one of the many phases of the sitcom is "high concept vs. low concept." This trend can be dated way back to the earliest decades of television - I'd argue the '50s were a "low concept" decade as most shows from that era were fairly simple in premise, shows such as I Love Lucy or Leave it to Beaver, which had straightforward and realistic premises (newlyweds in the city, families in the suburbs) and relied on character antics for their laughs and plot. However, following the '50s came the '60s, which had huge concepts - just look at shows like I Dream of Jeannie or Bewitched, shows about magical creatures which had complex rules and universes of their own. This became the norm in the '60s - shows about talking horses, flying nuns, witches, and genies were the norm, perhaps as a form of a escapism from the turbulent political climate. While we saw some high-concept shows after the '60s, for the most part, shows began to get gradually lower in their concept until Seinfeld became the quintessential low concept series - it was a sitcom that was proud to be a "show about nothing."

However, for the first time in many years, we're beginning to see a rise in high concept sitcoms again. The biggest example of this is likely The Good Place, which is one of the most high-concept hit sitcoms in quite some time, revolving around a woman and her friends in the afterlife. But you can see it around other shows and networks, too - think of a show like The Last Man on Earth, revolving around the apocalypse, or Search Party, a plot-heavy film noir comedy. Even something like CBS's Life in Pieces, which shows several different families lives and how they intersect, and is told in short "pieces", could qualify. Like the '60s, perhaps this could be a form of escapism for people in today's similarly tumultuous political climate? Either way, it's certainly a good time for creative, original and high-concept sitcoms.


Imposters

Bravo Media and Universal Cable Productions' original scripted series Imposters, starring Inbar Lavi, Rob Heaps, Parker Young, Marianne Rendón, Brian Benben and Stephen Bishop, returns for a second season on Thursday, April 5 at 10pm ET/PT. From executive producers Adam Brooks and Paul Adelstein, Imposters follows Maddie (Lavi), a persona-shifting con artist and the "Bumblers," a trio of her recent, heart-broken victims, Ezra (Heaps), Richard (Young) and Jules (Rendón). To catch up on Imposters season one, tune in to Bravo on Monday, February 19 from 8am-6pm ET for an all-day marathon. Additionally, season one is currently available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, XBOX, Playstation, FandangoNow and Vudu, and is available starting today on Netflix.

Golden Globe winning actress Uma Thurman reprises her guest role as lethal fixer, Lenny Cohen. Additionally, executive producer Paul Adelstein will guest star with a story arc spanning multiple episodes, playing Shelly Cohen, a mysterious fixer who happens to be Lenny's former husband. In the season two premiere, Maddie decides to lay low at a lake house in Michigan as she tries to escape her former existence. However, she finds her past much harder to shake than anticipated, leaving her in a state of paranoia. The Bumblers head to Richard's hometown hoping to sell the rare, very expensive ring Ezra stole from Patrick. Their hope for a clean getaway backfires when the tables turn and they find themselves on the run... again.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, November 26

Young Sheldon - "Pasadena" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Sheldon visits CalTech for the very first time. Also, Georgie is furious when Mary listens in on a phone call with his girlfriend, and Meemaw tries to cheer up a jealous Missy.

B Positive - "Pilot" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Drew, a recently divorced father, discovers he needs a kidney and finds his donor in the last person he ever would’ve imagined.

Young Sheldon - "A Parasol and a Hell of an Arm" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
A church carnival leads Missy to try out for the baseball team. Also, Meemaw struggles after her breakup with Dr. Sturgis.

B Positive - "Die Alysis" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Drew’s condition worsens, he needs to make sure Gina is still serious about donating her kidney and winds up making her an offer she can’t refuse.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of November 23)

Thursday, November 26

  • Alison Brie (GLOW/Community) - Catch Alison on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jerry Seinfeld (Seinfeld) - Jerry appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Brenda Song (Dollface/Dads/The Suite Life on Deck/The Suite Life of Zack & Cody) and Esther Povitsky (Dollface/Alone Together) - Brenda and Esther are guests on a repeat of A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Sam Richardson (Champaign ILL/Detroiters/Veep) - Sam appears on a repeat of Conan Without Borders: Ghana at 11pm on TBS.
  • Billy Crystal (The Comedians/Soap) - Billy chats with the ladies of The View on a repeat on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Kim Cattrall (Sex and the City) - Kim appears on a repeat of LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Tig Notaro (One Mississippi) - Tig is a guest on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City) - Cynthia appears on a repeat of The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Patti LaBelle (Out All Night) - Patti is a guest on a repeat of Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
  • Jason George (Eve/Off Centre) - Jason chats at the kitchen table on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Holly Robinson Peete (American Housewife/Love, Inc./Like Family/For Your Love/Hangin' with Mr. Cooper) - Holly talks about The Christmas Doctor on ABC's GMA3: What You Need to Know at 1pm.
  • Ben Feldman (Superstore/A to Z/Living with Fran) - Ben appears on a repeat of Access Daily, so check your local listings.
  • Jenny McCarthy (Two and a Half Men/The Bad Girl's Guide/Jenny) - Jenny is a guest on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Tommy Davidson (Between Brothers) - Tommy appears on a repeat of The Doctors, so check your local listings.
  • Goldie Hawn (Good Morning World) - Goldie and Kurt Russell are guests on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Marlo Thomas (That Girl) - NBC's Today has Thanks + Giving: Meet 3 Patients Celebrating Off Chemo with Marlo sometime between 7-9am.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (August/September/October/November)

Young Sheldon - The Complete Third Season Mom - The Complete Seventh Season The Flintstones - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Head of the Class - The Complete Second Season The Office - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

08/04 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Eighth Season
08/04 - The Neighborhood - Season One
08/11 - Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens - Season 1
08/11 - Final Space - The First and Second Seasons (Blu-ray)
09/01 - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - Season 14
09/01 - What We Do in the Shadows - The Complete Second Season
09/01 - Young Sheldon - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
09/15 - Mom - The Complete Seventh Season
09/15 - South Side - Season 1
09/22 - Brockmire - The Complete Second Season
09/22 - Brockmire - The Complete Third Season
09/22 - Brockmire - The Complete Fourth Season
09/22 - Man with a Plan - Season Three
09/29 - The Bob Newhart Show - The Complete Series (2020 Release)
10/13 - The Jetsons - The Complete Series (Diamond Collection)
10/13 - Our Cartoon President - Season Two
10/23 - Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em - The Complete Collection
10/27 - The Flintstones - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
10/27 - Head of the Class - The Complete Second Season (WBShop.com)
11/10 - Letterkenny - Seasons 5 & 6
11/10 - The Office - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
11/10 - Schitt's Creek - The Complete Collection

More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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